Friday, September 7, 2012

62 and counting

For the last two days, my new internet provider finally displayed my location (on the globe at the top right of this page) as being within the state of Vermont. The only problem is that both of the towns listed (Stowe and Barre) are quite some distance from here. Today I'm showing up as back in New Hampshire. Needless to say, I find this annoying. It really isn't a matter of much consequence, but it is indicative of the state of the world in general that something that should be so simple has become so f***ed up.

Yesterday, I began my 63rd year on life on this planet in this identity and body. Yes, I suppose that's weirdly specific, but ya never know when such clarity will be needed (or useful)... Not that I've ever thought that I was an alien from another world who somehow got trapped here. Well, okay, but that wasn't until I was in my 30s and Reagan was President.

The initial construct of this post - oh, hell, that's tortured phrasing. You see, I have this thing about starting a sentence or paragraph with "I". It's time to get over that one. I originally started this post yesterday, with a note that I was born 62 years ago in a hospital in the southern part of the state of New Jersey. I named names and places. Then I thought that I might be giving away too much information which might lead to identity theft. Not that I have anything much for anyone to steal. I don't want or use credit cards. I have almost no money for anyone to take, although if someone did grab the rent money out of my bank account it would provide me with huge problems which would initiate one of those dominoes falling sequences that would be awesome to behold but no fun to live.  My basic intention was to mention that I was born in a hospital. I may have been the first person in my family to have that experience. My older brother was born at a midwife's house in my hometown.

When I first became obsessed with movies, I was intensely focused on the silent film era. I remember a discussion once with my grandmother about the silent Lon Chaney version of "The Phantom of the Opera". She told me how she had seen it when she was young and how it had frightened her. On reflection, she wasn't all that young - she would have been about 25 when it played my hometown. That memory has popped up from time to time, and at one point in my life started me thinking about the changes my grandmother had seen. She was born on a farm. She once told me that as a young girl on her way to bed each evening, it was one of her chores to trim the wicks of the candles and oil lamps. Her lifetime spanned an era in which electricity arrived in people's homes, to cars, airplanes, world wars, telephones, radio, movies, television, and men walking on the moon. As for my own humble self, I always felt like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern waiting around while nothing much happened - except that they were unaware that they were  minor characters in the story of Hamlet, which was being played out around them.

So, a few years ago, I began to take stock....

Arrrgggghh. I had included Vladimir and Estragon in the text above, but found that it muddied the thought being expressed and deleted them. To make certain that I had the spelling right, I had looked them up and simply cut and pasted the names into this text. They appeared n a different font. I was able to fix that, but every new word typed used the font change and I've now spent at least 15 minutes trying to get things back to where they were with the original settings. None of the choices Blogger has for fonts matches the font being used. Trying the "default" font comes close, but the spacing is different and it is very noticeable - at least in draft mode. When I look at the post in "Preview", the affected text has taken on a different color and can barely be seen. I managed to fix it - the solution was in copying the text, stripping it of control codes, deleting the post, and starting a new post into which I pasted the cleaned text. Something that should be so simple....

And maybe that's my point. I've lived in an era in which great inventions changed the way we live - but each modification since has made things more complex - often to the point that the inventions themselves break and/or become unusable or too frustrating to use.

I think I'd better go do something else for awhile.
Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius - and all that. Ya know?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A gentle reminder

A reminder as I head out to work today....

Monday, September 3, 2012

Laboring Day

Since my return to internet space the other day, the little globe on the top right hand side of my blog page has shown my connection as originating in New Hampshire. Several different towns in New Hampshire, depending on the day. And some of those towns are over an hour away from Brattleboro.

Today is Labor Day. As I am currently on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, I am celebrating the accomplishments of the American Worker by working. Ah yes, the white collars get the day off so they can torture the blue collars who must wait on them or lose their jobs.

Where I work, the wall between the sales floor and the bathrooms and staff break room is covered with framed "diplomas" signifying the completion of various business management courses. One of the 'diplomas' is for "Union Awareness". I well remember that I was personally warned by my department's manager that I might be followed or approached by a union organizer and that I should ignore them and report any such incidents.

Mother Jones talking with the President of the United States from Vermont

May Day (the -real- Labor Day) 1933

Local heroes

Oops - lookit the time - I must go - can't be late - that could get me fired.....

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Take me to the Fair...

Jeez-us. It's Labor Day weekend already. We had about three days of summer. There was a lot of horrible, hot, humid nastiness which visited and became the guest who wouldn't leave. Was that supposed to be summer in Vermont?

It's been a few years now since I had to put down the Jimmy. The lack of vehicular transport frustrates me quite a bit at this season - it's Fair Time. I used to love the State Fair in Rutland - aside from having a really crappy side show, suitably tacky decrepit rides, extraordinary maple doughnuts (consumed with coffee sweetened with maple sugar, natch!) and some of the best french fries and deep fried onion rings on the planet, that fair had the superbly entertaining Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig Races. I've no idea where the pictures I took years ago have gotten to. Instead, I'll just have to satisfy myself with a few pics I took with my cheap digital camera a few years back at the Guilford Fair.

Guilford is a small village (or maybe a series of villages) just south of Brattleboro. I'm always amazed when I hear that there are 2,000 people there. It makes me wonder if the count includes all the cows and all the zombies. At any rate, there is an annual Labor Day Fair which is always worth attending as they have a booth with pretty good french fries too.

When you first get to the fair, you get to park in a field alongside this house, which is across the country lane from the fair site (I'd love to explore that house):

As one first enters the site, one sees the area where young riders prepare for their exhibition:

Up the hill at the fair proper is an old barn where the season's crop of veggies are judged:

And of course, the livestock exhibit and competition:

Further up the hill is the midway:

You thought I was kidding about the zombies, didn't you?

Well, you'll have to excuse me now. I'm off to a Labor Day fair where I can have a dance....
(visual distortion at the beginning clears up quickly)